What a clusterfuck the last few weeks have been. Actually, the last several weeks but the last few weeks ended up being a test of my mental fortitude, to say the least. Whether I failed or succeeded, I ended up getting through it. For that, I'm happy but I am more than willing to put it all behind me and move forward.

As of Monday, I was back in the gym and everything was back to 100% (except for my hip, of course). Training, supplementation, diet, etc., is all 100% and I am cleaning up the mess from the roughly 12 days that I threw up my hands and just said, "fuck it." There just comes a time where you get to that point, and I got there.

Some positive points this week that I want to touch on:

First, the pumps were absolutely freakin' insane. I have not felt pumps like this before and if I have, they were so long ago that I have forgotten. And understand that I have experience retarded pumps with some very large skiploads, so it isn't like I don't have killer pumps, anyway. Hell, I can get damn good pumps even while depleted. My strength might be in the toilet while depleted, but I can still get pretty sick pumps. 

These pumps were almost painful. The muscle would literally blow up from just one or two warm up sets and then cross the "skin-splitting" line about halfway through the workout. 

Let me be clear that most people would hold back and kind of break back in, slowly. Yeah, that's not me. I came back like I was looking for another ER visit for Rhabdo. I took it easy on the poundages because I knew my strength would be down after halting all supplementation during this off time. I wasn't down in strength terribly bad, but I also wasn't pushing for PRs this week, either, opting for higher reps while still pushing to failure or damn close to it.

I trained legs for the first time today (Friday), too. I hit abs, calves and hamstrings like I would approach a typical workout. I then did some very light leg extensions to see how the hematoma felt and how my hip felt. I felt this exercise was safe as far as my hip was concerned because there isn't much need for the gluteus medius to have to stabilize the hips during this exercise. I was more concerned about the hematoma but it is less than half the size that it was 3 or 4 weeks ago. 

I started very light and ended up only using about 4 plates for 4 sets of extensions of very slow and deliberate reps of roughly 15-18 per set. Basically, I just wanted to warm them up, get a bit of a pump, and see if the increased blood flow either helped the hematoma or irritated it. Keep in mind that the last time I did legs a month ago, the workout went great, but I ended up having a spasm where the hematoma is, and it was incredibly painful. It lasted about 15 minutes which is an eternity if you know what a spasm feels like. It basically locked up for almost 15 minutes and wouldn't let go. Yay me. 

I was able to do seated leg curls quite intensely without any issue. I started to do very light stiff-legs, but it just didn't sit well with my gut, having to stabilize at the hip. I felt that this was a gamble -- even with light weights -- and opted out after doing 2 very light warm ups. However, there was no pain or irritation at any point doing calves, abs, hamstrings or the extensions. I was quite happy with the outcome and have to figure out how to approach the leg session next week. I anticipate doing just about the same workout but going slightly heavier and more intensity on the extensions as I feel the extensions are "safe." I will not attempt any type of squat or press for at least another 3 weeks, minimum.  On a side note, I am now able to sleep on my left side as of this last week, as well. Until this last week, I could no sleep on my left side due to it irritating my hip.

Coming into the weekend, I have no need to skipload (and no desire) as I am not at all depleted, yet. I am back on my prep diet just to get my physique cleaned up from the time off and, so far, I have been looking tighter and tighter every day this week. I am going to ride it out another week and then decide how lean I want to get and what level of conditioning I want to maintain moving forward.

I wish I could get back the last 6 weeks as a "do over" but we all know that can't happen. I have no choice other than to make the best of the situation and move forward. 

One thing I did notice during this prep phase was that I still have a lot of leg size to regain from my years of chronic lower back injuries. I made a lot of progress over the last couple of years, but I am still not back to where I was before the lower back injuries as far as leg size is concerned. My focus for this next off season is, without a doubt, focusing primarily on my quad size. I do not have a plan, yet. I don't know if that will entail more frequent leg sessions or or if I will change my leg training, etc. I need to get that figured out over the coming weeks as my hip recovers.

I want to reiterate that I appreciate all of the messages over the last 6 weeks or so. I didn't always respond to them, but it wasn't because I didn't appreciate the support. I just sometimes wasn't in a great mood and didn't want to dwell on how miserable I was due to what had happened. The support is and was very much appreciated.



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